During the Christmas musical of 2007, John Curtis was the baby in the manger. Now, Andrew was almost 5 at the time. He and I waited on the last pew as I held John Curtis anxiously awaiting the moment when I would deliver him to David and Kathryn (aka Joseph & Mary). Andrew pleaded that I not take John Curtis "up there". I guess he was afraid that Mary & Joseph were gonna' ride off into the sunset on a donkey with his baby brother. Now, if it had been Aaron, Andrew would have probably gladly let him ride off into the sunset with complete strangers - don't you feel the love between those two??? As our "cue" came, we climbed the stairs to deliver John Curtis. On our way back, Andrew had a complete nuclear meltdown. After calming him (miracle from God), we made it in just in time to see the shepherds arrive at the stable. Andrew's eyes began to dance. He watched in awe and wonder at the majestic parade of kings that arrived to worship. Speechless - until he noticed John Curtis in the manger. "John Curtis is baby Jesus?!?", he inquired. "No, dear, he is just part of the play that we are watching," hoping this would calm him and prevent another nuclear meltdown that would disrupt the spirit of worship there. That answer was sufficient for that moment.
The next day, Andrew recounted every second from the entrance of the lowly shepherds to the pomp and circumstance surrounding the kings' entrance. His story climaxed with "and they all bowed down to John Curtis!!" After all, he was the proud big brother. That night, I began to wonder, what/who does my heart bow to. Yes, I am a Christian, but how many times do I allow the world to distract me from who should be my focus of service and worship.
Over the past 2 years, I have become painfully aware of the "whats" and "whos" that attempt to distract me. One way I feel that Satan is distracting God's people is by blurring the lines and creating gray areas where there should only be black and white. When I begin here, I'm usually told one of the following:
-you are way too conservative.
-loosen up a little.
-there are no absolutes.
-I'm a Christian too, but I at least I have a sense of humor and can have fun.
-enjoy life a little.
-too serious, back off a little.
I posted on my facebook that I "kinda' like being the outsider". In high school and even my early adult years, I never wanted to be the outsider. I'm learning that being the outsider can be okay.
I won't take a stand on something until I know why I am agreeing with that particular view. I usually have a pretty sound argument. It may be opinion, but it is based on fact and usually some research and scripture. I have been known for making some snap judgements, but I'll be the first to admit that I was wrong.
Sometimes I wonder how much more "tolerant" we as Christians will become. Now, I know most of us loudly proclaim our belief on abortion, the institution of marriage by God, and so forth. But, the smaller issues that are being compromised bother me. The literature we allow our kids to read. Not "adult material", but other "children's literature" that expose our precious young children to some things that I feel are not of God. If you know me, you're familiar with my Harry Potter argument - again it's based on research and scripture. If you ask - no my child has not seen Snow White, Cinderella, or the Little Mermaid. There have been some I disagree with that were shown at school, but Andrew now knows how to deal with this. We've explained to him that we don't watch it because it contains some content does not portray how God would have us act. Yes, I know some of the most recent children's movies have adult humor and my child probably wouldn't "get it". However, he probably wouldn't understand a horror movie or one that addresses witchcraft , etc. Am I going to show him those? Don't think so. Just because a child won't understand the content, even if it's a cartoon is not a good enough reason for me to expose my boys.
The second major concern I have is the breakdown of modesty among our Christian women. The way some women dress for church, the things discussed among some Christian women, and even particular places/events attended are different from the convictions I hold to. I'm not saying that I'm better than anyone. I'm not. My sin is just as big as the next person's. I believe a lack of modesty has gotten our country to the shape it's in now. (By modesty, I mean dress, actions, topics of discussion...) I need not go into detail, you know what it's like. Not everyone has to be as conservative as me, but just please let me be. I do however feel that if I could stick to this like I really should and more of use would draw that line in the sand, the world might just take notice. I'm just attempting to make sure my heart bows down to the Right Person. I am probably have to be this way because I'm more easily distracted than others and that's why I have to be so careful and conservative. Whatever the reason, my convictions run deep and I when I fall, it's usually pretty hard. However, He still loves me and is working on every second that I'm breathing on this planet. Not guaranteed tomorrow. Just trying to do what I can today before He calls me home.
So many distractions - husband, children, family, job, household chores, the list goes on and on and on....However, please God, turn my heart toward you. May my focus of service and worship have YOU at the center. This will be accomplished only with your power, mercy and grace.
I have to remind myself not daily, but moment by moment:
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household,
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
21 in HIM the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the LORD.
22 And in HIM you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
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